Tag Archives: Heavy Metal

Metallic Faith Malarkey

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When I’m not learning how to write my name in Elvish, I’m being utterly perplexed by my fellow citizens.

In data extrapolated from the 2011 UK census results, it would appear that 6,242 of Britons declared  Heavy Metal as their religion (for the record, that’s more respondents than self-identified as a Scientologist, Druid or Shaman).

To which one can only remark “Huh?”

I love a bit of Maiden as much as the next middle-aged, dog-walking vegetarian but can’t quite get behind the notion of aligning my musical genre of choice with organised faith – the goals of one seem quite at odds with the professed beliefs of the other, surely?

Obviously this result should probably be taken in the spirit of the kind of lightly subversive, nose-thumbing surrealism that I suspect it to be (note the high ranking of ‘Jedi Knight‘ as a faith of choice in the UK census, even after the quality of the “Star Wars” prequels should have killed aligning oneself to Uncle George’s franchise outright).

So, if I’m reading all of this correctly, the proper conclusion to draw from this census is that agencies of social control (which we normally oppose with all-consuming fervour) are a very bad idea until they provide you with the opportunity to make a snarky response to a survey.

Swell.

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Rachel Weisz is Metal.

Readers of this blog with sufficiently intact and functioning memories (or the inclination to search a while) will be doubtless familiar with my unabashed admiration and slight crush on British actress (and new American citizen) Rachel Weisz.

Man, that new Dimmu Borgir is the Shizz!

An admiration now bolstered quite a bit by the astonishing revelation that she’s a metal fan.

Yes, quite.  Describing herself as ‘an old mosher’, this news makes me wonder precisely who her favourite bands would be – given that she’s roughly two years older than me, I have to imagine that she’s a fan of the Big Four era of thrash, perhaps?  Maybe down for some “Appetite”-era G’N’R?  Or is she, Saint Diamond Dave preserve us, partial to a bit of Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Poison-vintage 80’s hard rock?

The mind boggles and the head?  It bangs.  \M/

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Fozzy’s Autumnal Sins

 

Marvellous purveyors of metallic rock excellence, Fozzy.

In other news, unrelated to delightful dogs and fine cities, excellent US rock band Fozzy are touring the UK with Soil this Autumn…and they’re not really playing near me.  This is clearly a heavy-handed attempt on the behalf of excellent touring rock bands to keep me at home for at least part of November.  For shame, sir!

I shall have to content myself with listening to their new record, “Sin and Bones”, which Century Media releases on August 13th.  If you’re thinking that you recognize Fozzy‘s lead singer, that’s probably because you’ve been a fan of WWE and all that wrassling carry-on – yes, that’s Chris Jericho rocking the mic and a fine job he does of it too.

 

 

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“A Game of Thrones” – Metallic K.O.

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Over at A Metal State of Mind, atleastimhousebroken, sterling writer, metalhead and fan of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice & Fire” series has penned a series of posts matching characters from the epic fantasy saga to apropos metal songs (Sansa Stark?Nightwish!).

I confess that it’s testing my geek resolve – this bank holiday weekend in the UK might be the one in which I take my first steps into Westeros…

So many books/tv series – so little time…

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Matt and Liam’s Axe Wound

Supergroup - how much more Seventies can a phrase be?

That is to say, lead vocalist of Bullet For My Valentine, Matt Tuck, and Cancer Bats screamer Liam Cormier, who’ve joined their not inconsiderable lungs to form Metal supergroup, Axe Wound, along with various escapees from Rise to Remain, Pitchshifter and Glamour of the Kill.

What a lovely name for a band – you could bring it home to meet your parents and everything.  Ahem.

You can grab a track from the band by shamelessly hitching your e-mail address to their Tumblr blog and take in a sound which apparently skews more towards the likes of Slipknot than Bullet’s ‘crunchy old school riffs and massive choruses’ blueprint.

As a fan of both Bullet’s sing-along anthems (if not their frequently paint-strippingly bad lyrics) and Cancer Bats’ cheery punky abandon (go watch this glorious video for “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair”), I’m down with this side-project for Messrs Tuck and Cormier, albeit a little bemused how it fits into both groups’ touring plans for 2012, as both bands have albums out this year and now this side-project is in the mix, too.

Axe Wound are on for Download this June and some of the European summer festivals – who knows what lies beyond that?

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International Metal Day

File this one under ‘right up my alley’ – it turns out that December 12th 2012 is the inaugural International Heavy Metal Day.

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The above image employed, of course, because there’s nowt more metal than the late, much missed Ronnie James Dio and I do like to think that he would approve of the idea of a day celebrating a genre of music that he loved and performed in so proudly for the majority of his storied musical career.

Day organiser Iron Matthew doesn’t have any major ambitions for the day at this point – he confesses that he’ll probably just be cranking his tunes a bit louder on the December date and letting the music do the talking, but I’m sure that if you choose to follow his splendid lead in following this day of celebration, you can make up your own celebrations which seem appropriate.

German awesomenauts Blind Guardian, and the cover for their recent "At The Edge of Time" record...

So, making biscuits of Iron Maiden mascot Eddie whilst wearing one’s best Norwegian Black Metal inspired ghoulish face paint and playing the bass line to Blind Guardian’s “Valkyries” it is, then.

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“Todd and The Book of Pure Evil” – Metal High School Horror busts a gut…

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I’ve always been somewhat bemused by the UK wing of SyFy. It seems not to show quite as much terrible guff as its US parent channel – no wrestling or cookery shows for us – with the latest example of divergent programming being their new Canadian import, “Todd and The Book of Pure Evil”, which began its UK run on Tuesday night.

This is an insubstantial but amusing enough half-hour horror comedy which trades mostly in gross-out humour and sophomoric high school antics, set in and around Crowley High School (I see what you did there, guys) and the tribulations of titular teen, Todd.

He’s a Heavy Metal-loving dreamer who fantasises about musical fame whilst pining for rock chick Jenny, who doesn’t give a fig for him.  She’s devoted to the hunt for the Book of Pure Evil, which has some role to play in the fate of her parents.  Todd has a one-armed drummer buddy, Curtis, and a nerdy science in the form of Hannah, whose unrequited love for Todd drives the second episode.

If you get the slightest sense that this is reminiscent of early “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, then I wouldn’t disagree with you.

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It’s “Buffy” if the proto-feminism and inclusive agenda of that show was slightly jettisoned in favour of a ‘let’s take the piss out of everybody’ world view, balls-to-the-wall gore and a soundtrack which slams together the likes of Children of Bodom and Anvil and amps up the metal archetypes and references to grin-inducing effect.

My inner-Guardian reader is slightly aghast at some of the less PC gags and attitudes (the fate of Jenny’s crap, Chad Kroeger-like boyfriend veered a little towards the homophobic) but my metal head nods in appreciation at the awesome B-movie moments and the character comedy – it’s a tough line to straddle, but I think that I’m going to be sticking with this show.

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TheGessNation – a YouTube vlog which ROCKS…

Nightwish - Finland's finest Symphonic Mentalists...

Surfing YouTube sometimes yields an absolute gem amidst the dross, comment section haters and sponsored piffle.  One such example of this phenomenon is TheGessNation.

Pat, for TheGessNation is his YouTube channel, reviews Heavy Metal albums on YouTube and does so brilliantly.  He gets the absurdity inherent in the genre and celebrates it whilst telling you why the music’s compelling, the place that it has within a band’s previous catalogue and how it all relates to the sometimes bewildering world of Metal sub-genres.

Labouring under the belief that Heavy Metal constitutes one, solitary genre of music?  Oh, how wrong you are, dear friend, how wrong you are…

I’d compare him, in terms of wit and charm, to Metal Hammer magazine writer Dom Lawson (whose ‘Dom’s Metal Sandwich’ is another vlog which you should check out – even if he doesn’t seem that keen on the splendid new Lacuna Coil record...).

If you have to watch one, I’d suggest that the edition which deals with Megadeth’s most recent record, “Th1rt3en” is worth a look – all the skinny on Megadeth’s most recent record and the complex web of madness which is intrinsic to discussing Dave Mustaine’s band of not-so-merry thrashers.

And as if you needed proof of how YouTube can send you down many an interesting rabbit hole – here’s the aforementioned Nightwish recording their most recent album, “Imaginarium”, via a promotional tie-in with Genelac studio monitors.  The things that you find on the internets, eh Marco?

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Tony Iommi diagnosed with lymphoma.

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath

Well, this news sucks.

Tony Iommi released a statement today confirming that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma and is looking at possible treatments with his medical team.

How this affects the touring and recording plans of the newly-reunited Black Sabbath seems like quite the secondary issue but I hope that the early diagnosis means that Tony will be able to get better and get back to rocking our faces off with molten metallic riffs as soon as possible.

My best good vibes are going out to the original Iron Man and one of the founding fathers of Modern Metal.

Here’s Sabbath doing “Paranoid” in 2005 – with Ozzy Osbourne using some regrettably NSFW language – but then, he’s Ozzy, so any entreaty to tone down the Anglo-Saxon vulgarity is rather akin to asking me not to eat toast:  You can ask, but it’s a request doomed to failure.  Much like Cancer’s ill-advised effort to take down Iommi, in fact.

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Metallica’s 30th anniversary shows – with added Ozzy & Mustaine

Iron Men

Blabbermouth has a cool report on the last of Metallica’s 30th anniversary shows – and a star-studded affair it was too.

Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler and Dave Mustaine notable enough names for you?

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